Friday, 03 July 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Washington, DC – The FACT (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency) Coalition today praised the passage of legislation in the United Kingdom to crack down on the use of anonymous shell companies with the creation of a public registry of corporate ownership. The new law brings increased pressure on the United States to follow suit.

Anonymous companies have long been a prime vehicle to launder proceeds from corruption, crime, tax evasion, and other illicit activities. FACT Coalition member Global Witness recently reported on dozens of cases of U.S. anonymous shell companies being used to defraud Medicare, embezzle from public schools, hide the owners of expensive real estate and scam the elderly. Creating a pubic registry of beneficial ownership information, or the true human owners, as the legislation does, provides a useful and effective tool to combat these criminal activities.

The US Government has revealed that the number of detainees it expects to be given a trial at Guantanamo has fallen to a newlow, with a maximum of just seven more of the remaining 122 people being held at the prison expected to face charges.

Although a total of 779 detainees have been held in Guantanamo since it opened in 2002, just ten of those still at the prison are currently undergoing prosecution or serving sentences handed down by quasi-judicial military commissions.  A further eight detainees have been convicted and released, although three of those have since been cleared on appeal.

This report provides a new understanding of the growing ways in which those inpoverty are disproportionately targeted, marginalized, and prosecuted.

Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. A broken taillight, an unpaid parking ticket, a minor drug offense, sitting on a sidewalk, or sleeping in a park can all result in jail time. In this report, we seek to understand the multi-faceted, growing phenomenon of the "criminalization of poverty."

A tribal leader in one of India's tiger reserves is fearing for his safety after a wildlife official urged his community to beat him and drive him out for defending their right to remain on their land.

Telenga Hassa, a Munda man from Jamunagarh community inside what is now Similipal Tiger Reserve, has been leading his village's struggle against official moves to evict them in the name of tiger "conservation."

Mar 29

Take Me Out

By Rochelle Lefkowitz, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

You almost had to be on Mars last week to have missed San Francisco 49er rookie Chris Borland making football history. He did not make a breathtaking play. Instead, the talented, promising young inside linebacker quit the NFL at age 24.

Why did he do that? Chris Borland hadn't stopped loving football. It turns out he'd had two concussions before the NFL draft in college, then a third during practice. Instead of waiting until he fell victim, like too many pro-football players, to grave, irreversible brain damage, Borland announced his proactive retirement. Despite the thrill of the game, great pride in his team, the roar of the crowd and future millions, he'd concluded the risk was not worth the reward.

Last week, legislators in hub airport states of Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina all advanced proposals to end valuable handouts, loopholes and tax breaks worth over $93 million per year to United, Delta and American Airlines.

On Wednesday, March 18, a majority of the North Carolina Senate signed onto an economic incentive bill that would let American Airlines’ handout expire at the end of the year. The break is a cap on the amount of sales tax on jet fuel American pays, expected to be worth $15.5 million next year.

The weather this year has been bizarrely ruthless. Boston just recently hit the most snowfall EVER in their history - which means this year saw more racist snowmen police officers than ever before. California is apparently one year away from running out of water completely, which will leave their wet t-shirt contests dreadfully dry. A dry t-shirt contest? Are you kidding me?? I'd rather play naked Twister in a Panamanian mosquito breeding ground! 

Drought! Blizzards! Floods! Climate change is… fucked up. I didn't want to believe it but then I saw a report from NASA saying "Climate change is fucked up." Sure, NASA didn't use those exact words,but they wanted to. I consider myself NASA's id. 

Indiana's Republican Governor, Mike Pence, said on Wednesday he would consider implementing a syringe service program to help combat escalating HIV infection rates in Scott County, Indiana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently determined that HIV infection rates have soared in Scott County on account of the sharing of syringes used for the injection of heroin and other drugs.

Governor Pence expressed support for syringe service programs as part of a heroin emergency plan that he is expected to announce today. Governor Pence's announcement came just hours after Republican Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation that would create syringe service programs in local jurisdictions that formally approve them.

Finland, Minnesota - The OrganicConsumers Association (OCA) issued the following statement today in response to plans by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to reintroduce a federalbill to preempt states'rights to enactGMOlabelinglaws, and create a voluntary non-GMOlabeling scheme.

"The Pompeo bill, aptly dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, is not only anti-consumer, but anti-democracy and anti-state'rights as well.

I defied my advanced age last week to board a  special train, with a thousand mostly young people, and join in the big "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt/Main, Germany's big banking city. The trip,  though not the usual 4 ½ but seven hours, retained till well into the night a spirit of happy anticipation.

The occasion was the opening of a giant new European Central Bank building, over four years and $1.4 billion in the making, one more modernistic banking skyscraper to reshape the city's skyline, with two adjacent towers reaching up 201 meters (660 ft.).

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Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Washington, DC – The FACT (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency) Coalition today praised the passage of legislation in the United Kingdom to crack down on the use of anonymous shell companies with the creation of a public registry of corporate ownership. The new law brings increased pressure on the United States to follow suit.

Anonymous companies have long been a prime vehicle to launder proceeds from corruption, crime, tax evasion, and other illicit activities. FACT Coalition member Global Witness recently reported on dozens of cases of U.S. anonymous shell companies being used to defraud Medicare, embezzle from public schools, hide the owners of expensive real estate and scam the elderly. Creating a pubic registry of beneficial ownership information, or the true human owners, as the legislation does, provides a useful and effective tool to combat these criminal activities.

The US Government has revealed that the number of detainees it expects to be given a trial at Guantanamo has fallen to a newlow, with a maximum of just seven more of the remaining 122 people being held at the prison expected to face charges.

Although a total of 779 detainees have been held in Guantanamo since it opened in 2002, just ten of those still at the prison are currently undergoing prosecution or serving sentences handed down by quasi-judicial military commissions.  A further eight detainees have been convicted and released, although three of those have since been cleared on appeal.

This report provides a new understanding of the growing ways in which those inpoverty are disproportionately targeted, marginalized, and prosecuted.

Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. A broken taillight, an unpaid parking ticket, a minor drug offense, sitting on a sidewalk, or sleeping in a park can all result in jail time. In this report, we seek to understand the multi-faceted, growing phenomenon of the "criminalization of poverty."

A tribal leader in one of India's tiger reserves is fearing for his safety after a wildlife official urged his community to beat him and drive him out for defending their right to remain on their land.

Telenga Hassa, a Munda man from Jamunagarh community inside what is now Similipal Tiger Reserve, has been leading his village's struggle against official moves to evict them in the name of tiger "conservation."

Mar 29

Take Me Out

By Rochelle Lefkowitz, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

You almost had to be on Mars last week to have missed San Francisco 49er rookie Chris Borland making football history. He did not make a breathtaking play. Instead, the talented, promising young inside linebacker quit the NFL at age 24.

Why did he do that? Chris Borland hadn't stopped loving football. It turns out he'd had two concussions before the NFL draft in college, then a third during practice. Instead of waiting until he fell victim, like too many pro-football players, to grave, irreversible brain damage, Borland announced his proactive retirement. Despite the thrill of the game, great pride in his team, the roar of the crowd and future millions, he'd concluded the risk was not worth the reward.

Last week, legislators in hub airport states of Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina all advanced proposals to end valuable handouts, loopholes and tax breaks worth over $93 million per year to United, Delta and American Airlines.

On Wednesday, March 18, a majority of the North Carolina Senate signed onto an economic incentive bill that would let American Airlines’ handout expire at the end of the year. The break is a cap on the amount of sales tax on jet fuel American pays, expected to be worth $15.5 million next year.

The weather this year has been bizarrely ruthless. Boston just recently hit the most snowfall EVER in their history - which means this year saw more racist snowmen police officers than ever before. California is apparently one year away from running out of water completely, which will leave their wet t-shirt contests dreadfully dry. A dry t-shirt contest? Are you kidding me?? I'd rather play naked Twister in a Panamanian mosquito breeding ground! 

Drought! Blizzards! Floods! Climate change is… fucked up. I didn't want to believe it but then I saw a report from NASA saying "Climate change is fucked up." Sure, NASA didn't use those exact words,but they wanted to. I consider myself NASA's id. 

Indiana's Republican Governor, Mike Pence, said on Wednesday he would consider implementing a syringe service program to help combat escalating HIV infection rates in Scott County, Indiana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently determined that HIV infection rates have soared in Scott County on account of the sharing of syringes used for the injection of heroin and other drugs.

Governor Pence expressed support for syringe service programs as part of a heroin emergency plan that he is expected to announce today. Governor Pence's announcement came just hours after Republican Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation that would create syringe service programs in local jurisdictions that formally approve them.

Finland, Minnesota - The OrganicConsumers Association (OCA) issued the following statement today in response to plans by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to reintroduce a federalbill to preempt states'rights to enactGMOlabelinglaws, and create a voluntary non-GMOlabeling scheme.

"The Pompeo bill, aptly dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, is not only anti-consumer, but anti-democracy and anti-state'rights as well.

I defied my advanced age last week to board a  special train, with a thousand mostly young people, and join in the big "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt/Main, Germany's big banking city. The trip,  though not the usual 4 ½ but seven hours, retained till well into the night a spirit of happy anticipation.

The occasion was the opening of a giant new European Central Bank building, over four years and $1.4 billion in the making, one more modernistic banking skyscraper to reshape the city's skyline, with two adjacent towers reaching up 201 meters (660 ft.).